Worker with Coronavirus Symptoms on North Sea Rig. Flights Suspended

March 17, 2020

Maersk Highlander - Credit: Maersk Drilling
Maersk Highlander - Credit: Maersk Drilling

Danish offshore drilling company Maersk Drilling has informed that a third-party worker aboard its offshore drilling rig at Total's Culzean field in the UK North Sea is exhibiting symptoms that may point to the COVID-19 coronavirus infection.

"We can confirm that a third-party employee on board Maersk Highlander [jack-up rig] is exhibiting symptoms that may be associated with the COVID-19 coronavirus. Further testing is required to make a firm diagnosis of the person’s condition," Maersk Drilling said in an emailed response to OEDigital.

According to the drilling company, the person in question has been quarantined, "as have three others who were found to have been in close contact with him."

"All four are being assessed and receive medical care from the medical personnel onboard Maersk Highlander. Our primary concern remains the wellbeing of everyone on board the rig, and we are taking all necessary precautions to protect their health."

"At the moment, flights to Maersk Highlander have been suspended. We are following guidance from the authorities, and along with our customer, Total, we are working with providers to ensure that we can return individuals to the shore should that become necessary."

The UK-based oil industry body, Oil and Gas UK, last week instigated restrictions on workers traveling to offshore installations if they'd traveled from or transited through affected countries in the past two weeks; if they have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in past 14 days; or if they have experienced symptoms of cough, fever, and shortness of breath.

To remind, the world's first case of a coronavirus infection on an offshore oil installation was confirmed last week aboard Equinor's Martin Linge project in the North Sea, offshore Norway. The work on the project has been suspended for the time being.




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